lblanchard: (swannfountain)
All but one of my H. papilio x emerald have put up leaves after their fungus and mite treatment -- even the one that I inadvertently sliced almost in half.

The H. papilio x chico that I drenched because of whitefly are also putting out new leaves.

Both H. mandonii are showing good growth.

The H. papilio I fretted over last spring are looking really good. The Telos bulbs each have nine leaves, so I'm hoping they'll store up enough energy to bloom soon. I understand it takes 18 months for a flower scape to begin deep in the bulb and then emerge, and some kinds of insult (such as heat treatments) cause the buds to abort. But hope springs.

The H. 'son of supermarket' Class of 2013 have been looking mighty peaky. I've had a fair amount of leaf yellowing. I'll water sparingly over the winter and if they don't show signs of dying I may re-pot them come spring.

H. classes of 2006 and 2009 and H. 'gervase' are all still in the back house and will need to be treated and re-potted some time in December. Or possibly January. Depends on how crazy the holidays get. Perhaps this year I'll be able to steel myself to select one or two from each class and give the rest away.

I am awash in Hippeastrum. I really should cull some.

All Schlumbergera look disgustingly healthy. The ones on the third-floor windowsill are crowding each other something fierce despite having been pruned last summer. After they've bloomed this year I intend to cut them way back and to root a few cuttings just in case.

Nothing seems to be doing very well under the grow lights this year. I hope I don't lose all my coleus. The begonia I scavenged on our summer vacation looks like it's giving up, bleah. I took extra cuttings of my coleus a week or so ago just in case the ones in the basement continue to pine away.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
My second Franklinia propagation experiment has worked -- at least so far. One of the seeds has a visible sprout. This is the collection of seeds unscarified but soaked and strewn on the top of a 5 oz greek yogurt container. It has a vented "greenhouse" consisting of a transparent-ish bag with cut-outs on the corners to allow heat to escape, held up by mini-stakes created from kebob skewers. Further bulletins as events warrant.

On the windowsills, I have only four more plants needing to be potted on -- the sansevieria that was my brother's; the rooted cutting from the dead Sarasota sansevieria; a simple heart-leafed philodendron and a syngonium that has been languishing on top of the third floor fridge for half of forever. I will need to find four big pots and I'm starting to think that I'll need to order some, something I'd hoped to avoid.

The rosemary cuttings are slightly more resistant to being pulled out of the vermiculite. I gave a gentle pull on one of them and much vermiculite wanted to come up along with the cutting. I think that means roots and I think by some time next week I should be able to put these in little pots, or possibly a good sized market pack.

I had taken a nopalxochia cutting, kind of by accident by knocking a leaf/stem off the mother plant, a few weeks ago. It rooted in vermiculite with great alacrity. I potted it up not terribly long ago and it's putting out new shoots already. The mother plant is showing signs of mild sunburn on its newer growth but I think it will get over it.

The last chance at Hippeastrum class of 2013 doesn't look like it's aborting, although the two seedpods are deflating a bit. They do that toward the end, anyhow. Then they turn brown and then they split open. I'm not terribly invested in their success. I am, however, looking forward to getting the planter off the sitting room windowsill and out into the garden so I can move the rest of my sixteen juvenile Schlumbergera downstairs. I think I've now said that about a bazillion times in my garden journal, but it's still true. The Blanchard/Lindau Schlumbergera are growing by leaps and bounds.

I'm at a happy moment in which there's not terribly much to do outdoors except enjoy the garden and swat mosquitoes. We had a record rainfall yesterday so a lot of planters need their saucers tipped, especially all the hippeastrums. There's a tiny bit of deadheading to be done as well as the daily patrol of the creeping jenny to eradicate the virginia creeper seedlings that keep popping up at the rate of six or so a day. But when looking around at the back garden yesterday I realized that it's mostly varieties of green with just a couple of blooming plants as accents and any other color supplied by the coleus tucked in here and there (but not running rampant the way it did in my peak of coleus obsession).

Coleus parade, March 23-24, 2006
Coleus cuttings, back in the day

UPDATE: I went out back, emptied the excess water from the hippeastrum and nopalxochia, identified a spot for the Class of 2009, and moved some creeping jenny and one sempervivum to the pot on Webster Street. The daylilies have died back a bit (probably because I forgot all about watering them in the heat wave) and there's too much bare earth. Creeping jenny will fix that.

I also mixed up a batch of mosquito-repellent homebrew. I didn't feel like measuring, so I poured some lavender oil, lemon oil and vanilla extract into a spritzer bottle, added water, and shook. The resultant stuff smells pretty nice so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
lblanchard: (Default)
I no longer have any empty windowsills on the third floor. Once I'm sure the schlumbergera are happily settled in their new pots I will probably move them downstairs to the various tables in front of windowsills. I like my office and upstairs kitchen windowsills to serve as the intensive care areas.

Yesterday I took the Class of 2006 out back, and brought it right back in. The leaves are kind of streaky and in case they're suffering from the dread mosaic virus I don't want them near the other hippeastrums. The self-pollination of the last Class of 2009 flower looks promising. Once the pregnancy is completed (or aborted) they'll go out back and then come right back in if they look streaky.

The Franklinia is looking a tiny bit bigger.

The weather has warmed but the mosquitos haven't yet cranked up, so we can sit out back and enjoy ourselves of an evening. The rooted cuttings of coleus that I set out here and there are starting to take hold and lend their color to the corners, and the pansies are probably at their peak.

Tomorrow we volunteer for a Wanamaker Organ concert.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
And here is the windowsill report:

HIPPEASTRUM GERVASE has about finished its first scape of three flowers. The second scape, of four flowers, is just opening now. Its first flower, with a lot of red, is almost fully open. The second one is starting to open, the third is in full bud and the fourth is in junior bud. I expect to see all four open along about Wednesday, and then the first one will start to fade.

OTHER HIPPEASTRUM: Four of the five bulbs I kept from the Class of 2006 have put up flower stalks. As I recall, the fifth has always been a late bloomer. So far, only one of the class of 2009 has put up a stalk. It's definitely going to be a keeper; I may select four or five others at random. Classes of 2011 and 2012 are showing low-light fatigue, with gangling stems. The same can be said of my five species hippeastrums. Mandonii and Val's papilio will need to repotted. Everybody will go out back and to hell with worries about mosaic virus.

SCHLUMBERGERA: I have way too many of the Class of 2009 and will weed them this fall. About ten of the salmon NOID x 'Madisto' seedlings look vigorous. They'll get repotted in late summer or early fall, I think, unless they have a real growth spurt. I have a couple blooms out of season -- some from a nondescript red whose leaves are more smooth-lobed than my others, and a surprise bud from 'Xmas flame,' probably something that happened because I turned the plant.

NOPALXOCHIA still looks like shit. But the cutting I took looks pretty good, so I may trash the parent plant and keep the baby. I did some recon on Dodo's Nopalxochia at the Flower Show and note that it's in a coir basket, not a pot. Point taken...

SANSEVIERIA: I have cuttings from Bill Schaffer's "J A C K" Flower Show exhibit. I potted them up today.

BASEMENT SEEDLINGS: I have swiss chard, parsley, and a 6" apple tree.

COLEUS: I'm only wintering over the ones with serious provenance now. Chris and Margaret's wedding coleus, Alabama sunset (my first), one I pinched as an anniversary souvenir, and one that grew in a neighbor's pot ("burning bush," I think) and is the one I'm actually saving because I love the way it looks.
lblanchard: (Default)
One of the apple blossom x gervase pods has aborted. The other one looks good. On the other hand, another pod on that same scape is fattening up and I know I didn't pollinate it, so I may have something else going on there. We'll see.

The one gervase x apple blossom looks good.

No change on the flowers I pollinated with 'papilio' yesterday. I'll hit them with another dose tomorrow.

Papilio x emerald bud is fatter than ever.

One of my 2006 keepers has deigned to open. It has good color and two scapes so I'll absolutely keep it. This year, I think I'll code the bulbs according to the number of bits of string I put around them so that I can pull a half dozen keepers from both batches and this time absolutely, positively trash the rest.

The bulbs on the Class of 2011 NOID x Gervase cross are the size of marbles so some potting on will be called for soon and very soon. My hippeastrum x chicos still look small but now that I'e seen an adult papilio I'm not surprised.

This is much more fun than coleus. I'm down to five or six varieties, mostly those with important provenance.
lblanchard: (Default)
Today I re-potted my nine papilio x chico seedlings. They are some fairly exotic hybrids and aren't putting out a lot of leaf, but the bulblets are between 1/4" and 1/3" in diameter and the root systems are rugged. I've got the nine of them in one of those fat 1 qt Greek yogurt containers. It will give the roots some depth to plumb. Fingers crossed for more progress. I'm thinking about setting them under the basement grow lights but I fear the dreaded fungus gnat. There always seem to be some down there no matter how scrupulous my plant hygiene.

I have so doggoned many Trader Joe x Gervase seedlings that I believe I may do some triage. I don't need that many. There must be 50 or 60.

I think that close to 1/2 dozen of my wee Schlumbergeras have now put out wee true leaves. Go schlumbergeras!

It's a waxing gibbous moon and two of my coleus cuttings, which were squatting in their vessels of water doing absolutely squat, have started to put out roots. It could make me believe in that moon phase thing. Of course, I didn't note the dates that I started the cuttings so there's nothing scientific about it. I can say, though, that the cutting I took yesterday isn't doing anything.

I made an Adobe Acrobat form out of a Word document (a table) and I feel mighty.
lblanchard: (Default)
It has been raining, off and on, all day: a good thing, given that they had to release water from reservoirs into the Delaware to keep the saltwater out of our water supply. As far as I'm concerned, it could rain all week. It's too late to save the fall foliage season, I think, but it may help the trees nevertheless.

I've done a little garden-to-bed prep -- that is to say, I've taken cuttings of the seven varieties of coleus I plan to save, plus some basil, plus some sage. I'll start new marjoram and thyme next spring, I think, along with parsley.

I don't know whether they're runners or seedlings, but I have a lot of new rosettes of Oenothera. That will be nice.

There are fat purple things growing on the moonflower vine. I am guessing that they're seedpods.

The piece of the Aunties' Rosebush that my sister brought me appears to be doing well. I should move it to the big tub soon so that it has a chance to establish itself before winter.

As the internet obliterates older traditions, my Christmas card list has dwindled, and I now only need 20 snowflakes. So far I've made 32, which gives me some for the tree, some for gift decorations, some for spares. I'll make a few more just to be on the safe side.
lblanchard: (Default)
The coleus cuttings have enough roots that they should be potted. But when I went out back to grab some potting soil I saw bazillions of minuscule gray insects -- I would say mite-sized, so I don't want them in my potting soil. After two hours in a 250-degree oven, I would expect the mites and any other insects or pathogens to be nicely steamed.

I went to the dentist today and we decided it's time for quad scaling again. Bleah. Pain and expense.

As a consolation prize I biked down to the Lakes after the dentist's. The swans have moved from Meadow Lake to Edgewood Lake again, not surprising as Meadow Lake is starting to look more and more like Meadow Mudflats.

There was some wonderful sun-behind-cloud action as I biked home on the new Delaware River Trail (all .8 miles of it), and later I will see how Mr. Nikon did with it, as well as with the swans.
lblanchard: (Default)
Underdone Bluefish gave me the day off yesterday -- I was feeling pretty good, biked on two separate errands. But it's making a repeat appearance, with low fever and TMI effects. Not as bad as the other day, though, and I've just taken drugs so I may feel fine pretty soon.

I looked around our little back yard and saw some progress I will want to chart.

garden stuff you can skip )

And now I'm all sweaty, which I think means the drugs are kicking in and the fever is breaking, so perhaps I'll feel more like working.
lblanchard: (Default)
Last evening I put in a few more of the little plant starts I have in the back yard: six marjorams tucked in here and there, three dusty miller behind the pansies in the space between the two bushes, with the remaining three also tucked here and there. I gave my herb starts (parsley and thyme) a shot of Miracle-Gro and will pot them on over the weekend.

Some pretty cold evenings are forecast for the next two days (temps in the lower to mid 40s) so I will be hauling hippeastrums back and forth. I think it will be safe to set out some coleus, though.
lblanchard: (Default)
It rained *a whole lot* this morning -- Roy and I went for a dawn raid on the Wal*Mart and got soaked. I came home and found significant quantities of water in the various pot saucers. I made it a point to empty the ones under any hippeastrum lest they get root rot.

There is a second seedling in the Rudbeckia container, looking remarkably like the first seedling and unlike anything I've ever seen before. I think I may hope.

It may be time to start bringing the coleus up from the dungeon.
lblanchard: (Default)
2010-02-15_18flowershowPhoto, right: Union general George McClellan (who doesn't deserve this placement on the City Hall apron as much as General Meade does) with Flower Show banner

I was up at (*groan*) 5:00, naturally. But I didn't do the dry run of grooming etc. -- it was enough to know that I could have been out the door at 5:30 if I had wanted to.

It's snowing again -- oh, goody. I need to check my post office box, so I think I may ride the bus there and walk home.

On the plant report, some of the fancier coleus are starting to show signs of distress. Even under grow-lights, 'the flume' developed stem rot -- as did the 'kiwi fern' in a hanging planter in the sitting room. I noticed them after they had wilted but before they completely collapsed, so I took cuttings and rehydrated them. There appear to be fungus gnats in the basement again, too, grr. Pyrethins and NEEM oil are probably called for. That BT stuff didn't seem to make a dent in them.

Oh, and here's a Flower Show backstory that warms my heart: plant rescue!
lblanchard: (Default)
I surveyed the couple dozen coleus I have in my backyard and have decided these are too many coleus. So I think I'm going to cut back to the ones I acquired myself here in Philadelphia as far as overwintering goes, and I may let a few of those expire this year as well. That should drop me back to more like a dozen.

Now that I can plant things in the ground I want those grow lights for seed starting.

EDITED TO ADD: On this day I also broke up the blue hosta into three big pieces. I planted two in the ground in front of the green ones. The third I further divided into its three individual plantlets and planted them back in the big pot, but with some space between them so they can spread out. Roy remarked that he is growing very fond of hostas.
lblanchard: (Default)
The first peony flower is getting brown around the edges and will probably drop its petals later today, if I don't cut it off first. I think the plant needs to be repotted in something larger.

The wisteria is just about in full bloom and is attracting bumbling carpenter bees and some fierce smaller bee thing that chases them.

Something has happened to my sense of smell -- neither the peonies nor the wisteria smell especially pleasant. There's a something they have that's common to petroleum products and I am noticing it more this year. Perhaps next year they will all smell better.

Last evening I moved some plantlets that are prone to self-sowing and nestled them in around the hostas. That would be rose campion and feverfew, as threatened. I also pulled up the couple of puny Martian Invader daylilies that never flourished in the Wisteria Pit, and put them where they'll get more sun and (I think) less competition.

On the windowsills, my seedling basil are just starting to put out their first true leaves. In a couple days I think they'll be far enough along to get a shot of Miracle Gro. There are about a half-dozen rooted coleus cuttings that I might as well pot up. Perhaps they'll go in the window boxes after all. Plus somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen looking glass begonias.

My friend Ann is returning a lilac to me some time this weekend. It's pink and not fragrant. Perhaps I'll pass it on to my sister. EDIT: Here's what it looked like in 2002. It's much bigger now:


The Schlumbergera 'madisto' that [ profile] clindau brought me last spring is clearly pot-bound, so I'll upgrade it to a 4" round pot today and hope that it gets pot-bound enough by fall to bloom for me. I took the Nopalxochia outside the other day. It got really bleached out from its time in a sunny window this spring -- lesson learned, and I'll move it next April.

EDIT: I was given some Jobe plant food spikes, so I pushed three in my big 'Looking Glass' begonia today.
lblanchard: (Default)
It was a nice day to hack up a big hosta, one that's unlikely to die no matter how badly treated, so we did it.

mostly for me but you can read if you like )
lblanchard: (Default)
I'll want to know this later:

Today I saw the merest of buds on the rose of sharon in the backyard. No sign of buds on the one on Webster Street.

The leaf buds on the bay tree appear to be swelling.

I moved the last of the coleus outside today. Some of the coleus look a little moldy -- I am hoping the fresh air may perk them up.

I think I see little red budlets on the trumpet vine.

Also: today we built a new "mini deck" to go on top of the aquarium stand, to hold the perennial sunflowers, etc. And I went after all the planters whose sides were covered with greasy suet leavings.
lblanchard: (Default)

Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Oooh, look! Coleus!

Men's Garden Club of Philadelphia: "Serata di vini in giardino." Wonderful exhibit. EDIT: Oops. Burke Brothers, Viva Toscano. Also a wonderful exhibit.

I just uploaded the first 75 edited photos of the 400 (!) I shot this morning. I imagine I will have another 50-75 edited by the end of the day. No captions yet, but here's your flower fix, [ profile] kightp.
lblanchard: (Default)
The looking glass begonia had gotten leggy and nasty. Roy fixed that yesterday by knocking it over. So I cut it all back and we'll see how it does. I have about eight cuttings, unsurprisingly.

It appears I may lose a holiday cactus, a first for me. It's the 'gold charm' that I liked so much. The leaves toward the tips got all funny colored and wrinkly, although it bloomed just fine. Suspecting root rot, I pruned it down to a few leaf joints, pruned the roots back to things that are definitely white, and repotted. I also took some cuttings.

Down in the basement, the coleus and basil pesto perpetuo were growing sideways along the grow lihght bulbs. I gave them all haircuts.

My mother of thousands don't look at all well, at least the two mothers that I started with. The thousands seem okay.

The regal pelargonium cuttings may have rooted but their older leaves are yellowing, so it's a tossup whether I'll have any come spring. The scented pelargonium cuttings are fine, naturally.

No new flower stalks from the hippeastrum this morning. We're holding steady at three. Others are sprouting, though. I'll be glad when the experiment is over. I could really use that windowsill in the winter.
lblanchard: (Default)

A1 Coleus overvew
Originally uploaded by uwe_jacobsde.
Look at this array of coleus! I am so jealous I could spit.

(EDIT: This photo isn't from the property in the realtor ad, just made me think...) I saw a realtor ad in my mother's hometown today -- for half a million dollars I could have a house, a barn, a couple dozen acres, and six or seven greenhouses. Sigh....
lblanchard: (Default)

Okay, I'll do it too:

Not Politics
1. Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
2. Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
3. Include these instructions, and share the love.

The above is coleus grown from cuttings. One was a fallen piece from a supermarket plant. The other belonged to my neighbor down at the corner and was collected with permission.

I actually posted a bottle-of-booze photo last night, and it had something to do with politics.


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